Kansas After Kansas


There have been several points in my young life, and several points in the lives of several of the young people I know, when enough is enough. There have been moments where I have been ready to turn my back on everything to start over. Usually, this attitude will manifest most significantly in the form of a move. Rather, a move I had been planning for some time will activate a need for abandonment and a desire to cut strings and essentially go ahead with life. I’ll convince myself that I’ve been in a holding pattern too long, only to enter into a brand new one.

I’ve moved a total of 13 times that I can remember. On average, every couple of years or so, forces will align and I’ll be on my merry way, even if it’s simply to a new part of the city I call home. Invariably, I’ll look forward to the move as an excuse to start clean. This was especially true of my move to Toronto in 2007, when I moved in with my cousin and attended the University of Toronto after living in Ottawa for over six years. As much as I missed certain people, it felt like a relief to get out, because there were certain people I didn’t want to see again. There were certain places I was tired of seeing and certain routines I was looking forward to breaking.

I moved back to Ottawa and am currently living on my own. Lately I’ve been feeling the old desire to move creeping up again. It’s a feeling of not being able to sit still, of worrying that if I don’t move, I’ll be in some sort of a rut for the rest of my life. Two friends of mine will soon be making a big move out to Vancouver, where they plan on renting an apartment and getting jobs and cuttings strings. And I’m envious of them for making such a big life change, at least in terms of geography. The farthest I’ve ever moved away from my parents is a three hour drive up the road.

I’ve often fantasized about moving to an exceptionally large city like New York and making a go of it. But there are no concrete details to a plan like that, and part of me thinks I’m more in love with the idea of it than the execution. Another part of me says that I can achieve anything I want to in any place at any time, so there’s no need to make a drastic move. Still another part (there are a lot swimming around in here) says that if I don’t make a move now, I’ll regret it because I’ll become stuck somehow. There are a lot of things I want to see and do and experience that moving around can facilitate.

But it’s the cutting loose of current circumstances idea that kind of bothers me the most. A lot of people bottle things up until the moment they feel they can cast it to the wind without worrying about repercussions, since they’re moseying on down the trail anyhow. I don’t want to wait for that moment. I’m no longer a “goodbye and good riddance” kind of person.

I suppose this is largely my admission that I don’t mind at all that I’m turning 30 this year. Thirty is the next big move for me. My head’s a lot clearer than it used to be and I want to put it to use. I’m no longer bothered by a lot of the things that used to bother me, but I feel like a drastic change is imminent. And if I have to go out looking for it, even if I have to look a thousand miles away, I think I’m okay with that, too.


About Joel Crary

Joel Crary is a 30'ish 21st century writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He enjoys films, mostly. View all posts by Joel Crary

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